Humanities West teams up with San Francisco Jazz Conservatory – the only accredited, stand-alone conservatory devoted to jazz studies in the United States – to present a unique lecture-performance event: Blues, Jazz, and Rock’n’Roll – An Evening with Robert Greenberg, The Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos.
The program opens with a presentation by noted performer, composer, and lecturer Robert Greenberg, hailed as the “Elvis of music history and appreciation.” Greenberg provides historical context to the synthesis of African and European music in the melting pot of North America. This synthesis created a dazzling array of unique musical genres, among them, the Spiritual, Blues, Ragtime, Jazz, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Starting with West African music, the presentation explores the evolution of the African-American Spiritual, Blues and the emergence of Ragtime. Greenberg gives special attention to the “birth” of Jazz in the amazing multi-racial, multi-ethnic city of New Orleans, and the role of the New Orleans native Louis Armstrong in the advent and popularization of jazz in the 1920s. From there, he’ll trace through the development of “Swing” in the 1930s, “Bebop” in the 1940s; and post-WWII youth culture and the advent of Rock & Roll in the 1950s, itself a harbinger of the Civil Rights and Youth movements of the 1960s.
The evening lecture is complemented by a live musical performance by The Erik Jekabson Quartet and John Santos, featuring Tommy Folen (bass), David Flores (drums), Erik Jekabson (trumpet), Grant Levin (piano) and John Santos (percussion).